As a parent, one of the most challenging tasks is to establish a good brushing routine with your child. Once your little one gets to grips with brushing their teeth, you might find they start doing this more than is actually necessary. Today we’re going to answer the question of whether or not you can brush your teeth too much and share some of our top tips to prevent overbrushing.
Brushing your teeth regularly is critical for healthy teeth, but when you do this too often, it can result in toothbrush abrasion. In fact, overbrushing is one of the top causes of receding gums and can also result in sensitive teeth. For that reason, you need to find a healthy balance with your child to ensure they don’t cause more harm than good when brushing their teeth.
When looking at the answer to the question of can you brush your teeth too much, one of the biggest concerns is the intensity of the brushing process. You’ve no doubt seen your kids scrub a little too hard at their teeth, most likely in an attempt to get out of the bathroom as soon as possible. When you brush your teeth too hard and too often, it starts to wear down the teeth and their outer enamel layer. This enamel is meant to protect our teeth, but when it becomes weaker, teeth can become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
When children and adults brush their teeth too often, it can also damage the gum tissue, which is quite tender in young children. This leads to receding gum lines and exposed tooth roots, which can cause decay and periodontal disease in some situations. As a parent, we recommend keeping an eye on your child’s brushing habits to ensure they are consistent and healthy.
To fully understand whether you can brush your teeth too much, it’s important to know how often is best to brush in the first place. For most people, twice a day for two minutes is the optimum amount of time needed to keep teeth clean and healthy. This gives enough time to remove food and plaque which has built up during the day and night. Some people like to add in a third session after lunch, which is okay to do as long as you aren’t brushing too hard. While once a day is okay for very young children, the sooner you can get them used to brushing their teeth twice a day, the more likely they’ll continue this habit throughout their life.
While many parents might laugh at the thought of their children overbrushing their teeth, sometimes you’ll find that your kids are much more vigorous than you might realize. There are certain signs to look out for which can help to prevent overbrushing in the long run. If you notice the bristles on your child’s toothbrush are splayed, this is a good sign that they are applying too much pressure when brushing. Swollen, red, or bleeding gums are also a clear indication of overbrushing, as is gum recession.
For parents who find their child to be brushing their teeth with too much force, ensure you are using a soft bristle toothbrush which is designed for their age group. Avoid medium to hard bristles at all costs with young children, as these will only work to irritate their teeth. We recommend using a timer with young children when they first start brushing. This will help them to learn how long two minutes of brushing really is and build up those good habits for life.
Taking a child to the dentist can be a tiring, embarrassing, and frustrating experience. At AC Pediatric Dentistry, we understand this, and that’s why we want to make the experience pleasant and fun for children. Call us today or request an appointment online.